February 11, 2022 12 min read
This article needs a full revision. (Contradictory statements highlighted in red below)
EDIT: Accuracy. This exercise does not work the lower posterior chain. (Google: What is the posterior chain?)
EDIT: Formatting. Although this article is informative and interesting, there are large blocks of text that makes the article quite boring to read and make the readers eyes gloss over. A few bolded sentences acting as subheadlines to focus on important points would do this article well. (example below: The leg extension primarily activates the quads.) Note: the quads are not the posterior chain.
EDIT: All 'How To' or 'To-do' sentences need to be subheadlines, bolded and on their own line in every article. This creates some contrast for the eye as the reader scrolls.
Leg days should be made up of only the best exercises designed to target and train the leg muscles. Leg extensions are one of those exercises that isolate and activate your leg muscles for a toned and more muscular leg.
The leg extension is a basic quadriceps isolation movement that effectively builds the quads. Seeing that monster quads are challenging to develop, this isolation exercise is worth your time. Below, we have outlined why you need to perform leg extensions and do so in perfect form.
The leg extension, also known as knee extension, is an isolation exercise that focuses on engaging all the muscles of your lower posterior chain, especially the thigh muscles.
It takes a full range of various isolation exercises to target all four muscle groups in the thighs. Leg extensions are fundamental exercises that deserve a place on any gym-goer’s leg day workout session. It is a fundamental movement that is easy to learn and even easier to perform with perfect form. Like its name implies, leg extensions involve extending the legs straight out and folding them back to the initial starting position, all under the influence of a weighted padded bar.
Do not be deceived by the simple look of this exercise. Leg extensions are beginner-friendly exercises that can be performed regardless of your fitness level. With this strength-training exercise, you need to use your legs to move the weighted pads on the machine. Although this might not look like much, it fires up a range of muscles from the entire length of your thighs to your ankle.
To get the most out of your leg extensions, you must perfect your form during this exercise. What form? You might ask, given that you need to locate the nearest leg extension machine and settle right in. Like any other exercise, there are particular set rules you need to play by. These rules and tips would ensure that your form is perfect for the engagement of the necessary muscles.
It is also a key player in ensuring that you do not in any way or form suffer from injuries during this exercise. Essentially, performing leg extensions in perfect shape is for your benefit and safety. To begin leg extensions, start by selecting weight sizes that you can control comfortably for as long as 2-3 sets of the exercise. This would help you avoid cheat reps and lessen the stress on your muscles that might lead to muscle strains.
To do the leg extension:
There are no set rules for how many reps should be in a set or how many sets you need to complete. There is also no rule detailing the type of weight you should lift with your legs. This is all dependent on your health, comfort, current fitness level, and fitness goal. A great way to average out these factors is fitting in between 8-12 reps for a total of 3 steps.
The leg extension is a superb leg training exercise that targets the muscles of the leg, rewarding you with not only aesthetically pleasing legs but also strong legs. Legs are a big part of your workout time regardless of your level. A majority of your exercises are driven by leg power. Leg extensions help you strengthen these muscles that almost always seem to be underrated. Big buff thighs are a fad that can never fade. They contribute to that overall shredded look that many men thirst after. Big quads are a major-traffic stopper and significant flex that provides a bragging right at the gym.
The leg extension primarily activates the quads.
The quads or quadriceps femoris muscle is not just one big slab of flesh that makes up the front and side of your thighs. It is divided into four parts or muscle groups named the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, and vastus intermedius. These muscle groups help in movements that involve straightening the knees like running, walking, standing, or movements of the legs across its various planes. They bear the weight of the body and need to be strengthened in order to have better agility and mobility for both functional and sporting activities.
These muscles originate from the attachment of the femur to the hip. Due to this connection, the rectus femoris also assists in the hip's flexion. Together, the quads make up the most significant muscle in the body. Leg extensions also help activate and strengthen the patellar ligament and quadriceps knee attachment. The leg extension exercise works based on Torque force. Using a weight that rests close to your ankle joint, you push through your quads to straighten your knee.
The primary benefit of leg extensions is their ability to isolate, target, and strengthen the quad muscles. Unlike other exercises like the square, leg extensions focus on the quad muscles and are a great way to bulk up on your thighs. Strong quads are a great way to improve power output and athleticism. It strengthens the thighs, acting as a direct improvement in sports that require leg power like football, running, and cycling.
Some benefits of leg extensions are:
Leg extensions are a superb option for you, depending on the fitness goal you wish to achieve. If you are looking for a way to tone, strengthen, and buff up your quads for massive thighs, you should consider doing leg extensions. It provides a great muscle pump that can complement ADABOLIC for an increased muscle pump, improved vasodilation, better muscle endurance, and increased muscle hardness and fullness.
Are you looking for a more defined physique without the massive bodybuilder thighs? Leg extensions can be used to tone your legs and build a layer of lean muscle for a better beach body. Skip leg extensions if too much stress on your knee joints leads to pain. If you are using leg extensions as a form of physical therapy, work with a personal trainer to help you avoid further injuries along the way.
Despite being a simple exercise, common mistakes can ruin a good leg extension workout. This can limit the contraction of your muscles and the equivalent muscle response needed for excellent output. Here are some tips to help you avoid these common mistakes.
Bodyweight leg extensions are great for firing up your quads. For this variation, you do not need any bulky gym equipment as your body weight, and gravity does all the work. It is a fantastic exercise choice for knee health and other complementary muscles. To do the bodyweight leg extension:
Remember to warm up before you begin. To make this variation more challenging, place a resistance band behind your knees, and to make it easier, loop a resistance band around a sturdy object and use it for leverage.
The standing leg extension is a beginner-friendly exercise. It offers the same benefits as a machine leg extension, but unlike the latter, standing leg extensions are a closed-chain exercise. This means that your supporting leg remains in a fixed position of constant contact with the floor. To do the standing leg extension:
To make the standing leg extension easier, support yourself by holding the wall or the back of a chair.
The banded leg extension is similar to the machine leg extension. The only difference is that you use a bench and a resistance band. The tension on your quads is not felt until you reach optimal stretch at the peak of your movement with your legs completely extended. To do the banded leg extension:
Leg extension exercises can also be replaced or complemented with alternative exercises like Platz squats, front foot elevated Bulgarian split squat, close stance leg press, wall sits, and sissy squats. These exercises work the quads and provide equally great results.
Doing leg extensions is great for your quads. There are different variations you can add to your leg day workout routine. Leg extension shows evident benefits in your functional activities and the gym. It doesn't matter if it is as a starter exercise or a big finish to your leg sessions; ensure you add leg extensions to your workout routine.
Don't know where to begin your quad workouts from? Here are ten additional quad exercises for you to try during your next workout!